Palmer plan for State split could make sense if part of wider Govt reform

The Palmer United Party’s plan to split Queensland by creating a new State of North Queensland (Palmer MP calls for State split) is worthy of further discussion, particularly if consideration is given to a potentially wider, more valuable reform: the abolition of local governments. There is widespread recognition in the Australian community that, with three levels of Government, we are over-governed. We could reduce costs and duplication and improve service delivery if we created regional governments which would perform current State and local government functions, but over larger areas than current local governments. For example, a regional government looking after South-East Queensland may make sense as SEQ is effectively becoming a 200km City (see Tradies know what it means to live in the 200km City). Of course, any such proposal would require detailed analysis to ensure the proposed entities are economically viable. 

Earlier relevant posts of mine include:

Great new ANZSOG paper recommends two tiers of Government

Not another referendum on local government

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5 Responses to Palmer plan for State split could make sense if part of wider Govt reform

  1. KT says:

    I disagree Gene. Creating a new Northern state and then abolishing councils will be very costly and I am not sure we would get any better return, It would take a long time to achieve (note amalgamations in ’08) and people and pollies would get very parochial.

    • Gene Tunny says:

      Thanks KT. Yes, it would certainly be difficult to implement. I just think we’d get better and more efficient government if we took out one of the layers so it’s worth doing the hard work to implement it.

  2. Paul McGuire says:

    An interesting suggestion. The more usual proposal is of course to abolish State Governments and increase the size of local governments (as per the Whitlam vision), but I suppose increasing the number of States and abolishing local government could achieve much the same thing. The Constitution means it is almost impossible to abolish the States, but (from the perspective of a law school dropout at least) this proposal may be (slightly) easier to achieve. Sections 121 to 124 of the Constitution deal with the establishment of new States – under Section 123 it would still seem necessary to gain approval of both the Commonwealth and State Parliaments and a majority of voters in the relevant State(s). As I understand it there is no Constitutional impediment to abolishing local governments.

  3. Paul McGuire says:

    Sorry Gene, having read your earlier posts I see you have already covered the Constitutional issues.

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